Eat This: Chicken and Beef Nachos at Angry Dog
With Deep Ellum’s revolving door of chic new restaurants and bars, it’s easy to overlook the mainstays — those joints that have hung around for decades, steadfastly feeding the slurring and stumbling, soaking up whiskey Cokes, vodka sodas and ill-advised Jäger shots. These restaurants eschew ephemeral culinary trends, allowing them to enjoy long-lasting success, albeit several steps outside of the spotlight.
So, I’m here to pull Angry Dog onto center stage. I’m not going to regale you with its history or interesting tidbits of trivia. I’m not going to offer a think piece about its longevity amidst an ever-changing and gentrifying Dallas. What I am going to do, however, is tell you all about their nachos.
It's easy to skip over Angry Dog’s nachos and jump straight to the burgers and hot dogs for which they’re known. Hell, I did for years. I’ve been eating at Angry Dog since I was a wee child in the early ’90s, and the thought of trying their nachos never occurred to me until the tail-end of my time in high school. This was a big mistake, and I implore you: Do not wait to try these nachos. This isn’t the time for, “Oh, maybe I should try these next time I’m in Deep Ellum.” No. Stop whatever you’re doing, get in your car, on your bike or on a bus and get yourself over to Angry Dog and order a full plate of Nachos.
Taste is clearly subjective, but I feel confident saying that these are the best nachos in the city. This starts with their structure. Angry Dog opts for a mostly horizontal spread across the plate, which allows for a much evener distribution of toppings. While there’s something fun about receiving a pile of chips that reaches up to your chin, it makes for a bad eating experience; only about 20 percent of the chips (a totally proven, real figure) actually have toppings touching them, which means you’re paying a premium for bare tortillas. This is outrageous, and you deserve better. Angry Dog’s are only layered about two chips high, so pretty much each one is covered in cheesy goodness.
Good nachos can rely on an even distribution of chips and cheese, but great nachos rely on high-quality toppings, and this is where Angry Dog thrives. Almost every single chip is graced by plenty of refried beans, a mixed cheese blend, and meat — so much meat. I always opt for a combination of chicken and steak, and I highly suggest you do the same. Not only do they provide plenty of it, but they also season it perfectly. I don’t know what the seasoning is exactlyy, but it exquisitely compliments the nachos’ other flavors and textures. Often, meats on nachos seem like an afterthought, where they just reuse leftovers from other dishes, but whatever Angry Dog does works wonderfully. To top things off (literally, figuratively), they provide generous scoops of guacamole and sour cream as well as a handful of jalapenos for some extra kick. By the time you’re done, you’ll still have extra toppings gracing your plate, so grab a fork and go to town.
It’s important to note that Angry Dog offers half portions as well, so if you’re in the mood for a delicious burger, you can easily enjoy both, though the nachos will undoubtedly steal the show.